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NASCAR Fans Back Legendary Crew Chief’s Claim About Hall of Famer’s Unfortunate Death

Published 04/11/2024, 2:12 PM EDT

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The 1990s were a golden age for NASCAR and a few veteran drivers bloomed then. NASCAR Hall of Famer Larry McReynolds got to work as a crew chief for two of them. Dale Earnhardt was one, as he clinched 76 Winston Cup wins. But there was another extraordinary racer before Earnhardt.

Davey Allison breathed fire from the get-go, as he became the first NASCAR Winston Cup driver to snag two wins in his rookie year. By the time he met Larry McReynolds, Allison was making the newly formed Robert Yates Racing proud. And he would have continued to do so if not for a tragedy in 1993.

Davey Allison’s memories evoke ‘what if’ emotions in crew chief and fans

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The Allison family already had a name in racing circles. NASCAR Hall of Famer Bobby Allison’s son thought football was his arena until the racing bug bit him. Davey Allison got his breakthrough in 1987 and won four times in the first two years. Then soon after going into Robert Yates Racing in 1989, crew chief Larry McReynolds became a part of his life.

The power duo’s relationship went beyond the track, and their friendship was the backbone of success. Davey Allison and Larry McReynolds clinched titles in eleven races. One was the iconic 1992 Daytona 500, where they got only five minutes of backup practice after their main car wrecked. Yet all good things do not last long, as Allison met an untimely death in a helicopter crash in 1993.

Now working as a racing analyst, Larry McReynolds looked back at those adventurous times. He recently posted on X, as a ‘what if’ scenario floated in his head. “This guy was an amazing race car driver and even more so, an amazing friend! Had we not lost him in 1993, who knows where my career would be today!”

 

This emotional post stirred up fans to chime in as well. Some fans agreed with McReynolds’ take: “Exactly right Larry!” Another fan said: “You, Davey, Robert and the 28 team were the best!”

One fan showered praises on Davey Allison and McReynolds’ teamwork.

“Y’all made an awesome team and were my team. No telling how successful y’all would have been. I don’t follow NASCAR like I did back in those days but I still love to hear Larry Mac on the radio and tv when I tune in to a race.”

Another fan is confident that Davey Allison would have kept dominating the race track. “I don’t think it would have been when yall were gonna win a championship, it was gonna be how many yall were gonna win.”

Davey Allison’s attitude toward winning was aided by two amazing people. While one was Larry McReynolds, the other was his team owner.

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Allison built a star team with Yates

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Before Robert Yates Racing became a reality, its team owner worked as an engine builder for Harry Ranier. Then Ranier put up his team for sale in 1988 and his star driver was adamant on one thing. Davey Allison convinced Yates to buy the operations and form his own team. And then Allison brought success immediately, clinching three wins for RYR in 1989.

Doug Yates, Robert’s son and now CEO of Roush Yates Engines, narrated the inspiring story of teamwork. “Davey was like a second son to my dad. But he was also a huge influence for my dad. When Harry Ranier and J.T. Lundy were going to get out of racing, Davey told my dad, ‘Robert, you can do this. You deserve it. You’re ready for it. And if you buy this team, I will never leave you.’ And Davey shook my dad’s hand, and that’s all it took.”

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Before fate caught up with him, Davey Allison left a legacy that stands strong in racing circles to this day.

Read More: Talladega Tales: Davey Allison’s Untold Story

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Written by:

Sumedha Mukherjee

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Sumedha Mukherjee is a NASCAR Writer at EssentiallySports who is known for her in-depth track analysis as well as her lifestyle coverage of Cup drivers like Denny Hamlin and Kevin Harvick. Inspired by the Kiwi's journey so far, Sumedha has also written pieces on Shane Van Gisbergen, predicting how the Supercars Champion would do in the new and unfamiliar American setting. Pairing her research skills with her vast experience as a writer, Sumedha creates stories her readers can easily get lost in.
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Edited by:

Shreya Singh